Updated: 5 days 21 hours ago
President Trump addressed comments from Attorney General Bill Barr stating that Trump's public commentary on ongoing Justice Department cases makes his job more difficult. "I do make his job harder…I do agree with that," Trump told reporters before boarding Air Force One on Tuesday. "The Attorney General is a man with great integrity."
CNN's John Avlon: Trump And Republicans Are Setting A "Trap" For Democrats By Boosting Bernie Sanders
CNN's John Avlon says President Trump wants to "promote Bernie's rise" to "trap" Democrats into endorsing socialism. JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Hey guys, well, it turns out a very unlikely fan of Bernie Sanders is Donald Trump... SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We must and we will defeat the most dangerous President in the modern history of America. AVLON: That hasn't stopped Donald Trump from consistently pumping up Sanders chances. TRUMP: Crazy Bernie. I don't know maybe he's really surging. He really is. Bernie is surging. There is no question about it. And Bernie seems to be the one the party wants. AVLON: Yes, as much as he's also backed up on Twitter. Another surprising Sanders' defender is Donald Trump Jr. who re-tweeted this video of Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg appearing to insult farmers. Now Bloomberg claims it was misleadingly edited but also tweeting it out was you guessed it Bernie Sander's people. And it is not the first time that either Donald rush Bernie's aide with both repeating the charge that the Democratic Primary is somehow rigged against him. Speaking of primaries, it is one of the radio show host Hugh Hewitt went so far to announce that he'd vote for Bernie. HUGH HEWITT, RADIO SHOW HOST: Because it's Virginia, I get to vote in the Democratic Primary. I'm voting for Bernie Sanders. AVLON: And that movement has picked up steam with South Carolina Republicans pushing their people to vote for Sanders in their primary. Why are all these Team Trump folks suddenly feeling the burn? Well, as Admiral Akbar might say -"It's a Trap"- and the reason is the "S" word socialism. Mr. Meghan ropes under the headline "Bernie Sanders can't win" in the "The New York Times." The central message of the Sander's campaign is that the United States it's a political revolution. That may very well need one but most people don't think so. The numbers would seem to back that up. Donald Trump does best running against a hypothetical socialist, beating him or he by an average of six points according to a poll taken last summer. But he loses to top tier Democrats, including Sanders who actually calls himself a Democratic socialist in a recent CNN poll. According to Gallup, only 39 percent of Americans have a positive view of socialism. Gallup also found that more Americans said they would vote for a gay, Muslim or atheist candidate than a socialist. Meanwhile, Quinnipiac poll around the same time finds that less than a quarter of Democrats call themselves very liberal. Democrat voters more moderate, blue collar and older than you might think just by looking at the Twitter. So given all of this, no surprise that Donald Trump wants to run against Bernie Sanders but don't take my word for it. There is an unnamed Trump Adviser told Axios "We're trying to promote Bernie's rise. The campaign has been pumping up the national messaging behind Bernie. When you attack his policies it gets the media to talk about them". This isn't subtle folks. Sanders deserves credit for firing up the base and shifting the debate within the Democratic Party, but Team Trump understands their path to reelection will be demonizing Democrats as radical socialists to distract from the President's broad unpopularity. That's why they want to run against an actual radical and self described Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders. It's a trap. And that's your "Reality Check".
MSNBC's "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough cites Axios reporting that President Trump's first term in office is below average for average annualized GDP growth. During his State Of The Union speech this month, Trump claimed the economy "is the best it has ever been." Scarborough also gave credit to President Obama for the current upward trend in economic growth. "He doesn't like facts, he doesn't like numbers," Scarborough said of President Trump. "What's fascinating is the media runs around all the time, and they've been doing it for years ... parroting what Donald Trump says about how great the economy has been. Yes, this is a recovery that began 11 years ago." "We've had 11 years of uninterrupted economic growth. It started with the majority through the Obama administration, and if you just take the three years that Donald Trump has been in office, you take that time period and you compare it to Barack Obama's final three years, by just about every measure, Barack Obama's economy was much stronger than Donald Trump's economy."
Meghan McCain To "The View": "You Guys Have Done A Piss-Poor Job Of Convincing Me I Should Vote For A Democrat"
Meghan McCain told her "The View" co-host Joy Behar that she's done a "piss-poor job" of convincing her to vote Democratic in November's election. During a heated exchange on Tuesday, McCain said Michael Bloomberg would have a hard time maintaining the "moral high ground" against Trump. "I'm not defending Trump because I'm attacking Bloomberg!" she yelled. "I'm supposed to give Bloomberg a pass? Not on this show! Not with this host!" "I would like to know who you are going to vote for. Who are you voting for?" Behar asked. "Who I vote for is none of your business!" McCain roared. "But I am not voting for Trump and I sure as hell am not voting for Bloomberg!" "So you're not going to vote. So you're not going to vote. You're not voting for Trump and you're not voting for a Democrat. You said that," replied Behar. "You guys have done a piss-poor job of convincing me that I should vote for a Democrat," McCain said at the end of the segment.
Molly Forgey, the Nevada Democratic Party spokesperson, told CNN Tuesday morning that the party's "number one priority" is to make sure Saturday's caucus goes on without any of the problems that plagued the Iowa caucus. CNN HOST: CNN heard from some precinct captains that they were nervous about this weekend because they didn't feel they were fully prepared, despite there have been hours and hours of training. They were nervous about this weekend and how to handle it. What do you say to them? MOLLY FORGEY: That's right. From the beginning, we developed a very robust training program, one that is encouraged every single community to turn out, making sure we have bilingual training, training materials in all three languages, English, Spanish and, Tagalog, and we made sure our folks understood, not just how to run a caucus at the precinct level. but also the foundational knowledge of running a caucus. If they're new to the process or veteran volunteer, like you mentioned, we're doing trainings around the clock, that's going to happen every day up until caucus day. We're offering one on one training, in-person trainings, hands-on, via webinar, you name it, we're doing it the. The number one thing is getting the process right and making sure we're protecting the integrity of this process and that our precincts have the support they need to execute a successful caucus on Saturday. CNN HOST: Absolutely. Can you assure folks that the caucuses will -- that the caucus will go without a hitch on Saturday? MOLLY FORGEY: Yes, we're feeling very confident. We had our heads down, working around the clock in the last three weeks and we feel very good, very confident. We know we'll have the most accessible, expansive, and transparent caucus in Nevada history. CNN HOST: Will you be able to report a result by the end of the night? That could sound like a ridiculous question but after Iowa, it is not so ridiculous. MOLLY FORGEY: Sure, absolutely. Like I said, our number one priority is getting the process right, making sure results are accurate, that's our number one priority and we know, we understand everyone wants to know the outcome of the Nevada caucus because we play a crucial role in this primary as the first diverse state to make its voice heard. That's our priority right now.
Past comments plague Mike Bloomberg's presidential campaign; reaction and analysis from Bret Baier, Mollie Hemingway, A.B. Stoddard, and Chris Stirewalt.
Former Clinton senior adviser Mark Penn talks about "the last hope for accountability" for allegations of wrongdoing regarding the Trump-Russia probe on FBN's "Mornings With Maria" Bartiromo. MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: Attorney General Barr tapping federal prosecutors across the country to look at high profile Russia probes involving Trump associates like about Michael Flynn. What they're looking at before what FBI the says was the official start of the investigation into Trump in July 2016. But you and I both know there was plenty of action as early as the end of 2015 where they invited Michael Flynn to go to Russia to sit next to Putin. Tell me your thoughts on the AG's moves with regard to the investigation and the predicate to investigate Donald Trump. MARK PENN: Well I am a little puzzled that Andrew McCabe wasn't prosecuted because he was on tape in the second interview lying and it did receive a strong condemnation of the inspector general, but it does look like Barr is conducting a thorough investigation here. Look, on Roger Stone, I wrote two articles over a year ago saying an incredibly unfair prosecution of Roger Stone when you look at kind of lying with real national import that happened here with FISA warrants, and all of these unprosecuted lies went on by FBI. Even you look at Sally Yates setting up Michael Flynn with, quote, Logan Act, we know it is a pure fantasy. There is so much that is really we have not seen accountability yet this is really the last hope for accountability. It doesn't look good with McCabe wait and see, real accountability has not come despite reports that show obvious wrongdoings.
ABC NEWS: Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate who's now focusing on tackling voter suppression head on, said she "absolutely" sees herself running for president one day, but for the 2020 cycle, she "would be honored" to run for vice president with whoever the Democratic nominee is. On Monday's broadcast of 'The View,' the former Georgia lawmaker discussed why she's focusing on voter suppression and "would be honored" to run alongside the Democratic nominee.
CBS Denver reports: It wasn't immediately clear to CBS4's crew what the two men were fighting about, but someone contacted CBS4 on Monday by phone and said he is a Sanders supporter and one of the people involved. He said his name is Tyler and that a person with a T-shirt on that read Black Guns Matter was with two other men and they were booing during the speech. When Tyler tried to capture video of the booing on his phone's camera, the man shoved him through the barrier. Tyler then retaliated. It was that action which was captured by CBS4's camera. Another video provided to CBS4 by an anonymous viewer shows the moments leading up to the brawl. It allegedly shows Tyler, in a jeans jackets, and another man arguing about the man's shirt. That man with the Black Guns Matter shirt also contacted CBS4, although anonymously. He called Tyler the aggressor and said he is African American. (photo credit: CBS/Denver)
A woman at the Multicultural Student Center at the University of Virginia: "Frankly there is just too many white people in here, and this is a space for people of color."
President Trump aired a new ad during the Dayton 500 race: "America is great and better than ever. Under President Trump's leadership, we are racing to new heights. Millions of new jobs, rising wages, record-low unemployment, securing our border, protecting our country and respecting our veterans. Most of all we are proud to be Americans. Proud of our country, our families, and our flag. God Bless America. And the best is yet to come."
Sanders: Anyone Making Attacks In My Name Is Not Part Of Our Movement, Internet Is "A Strange World"
PBS NEWSHOUR: Sen. Bernie Sanders is currently one of the leading candidates in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. Fresh off his New Hampshire victory Tuesday, Sanders sits down with Judy Woodruff to discuss why he thinks his campaign has a good shot at winning in Nevada, his extraordinary grassroots organization, how he would change health care and whether he accepts money from billionaires. From the February 13, 2020 episode: JUDY WOODRUFF, PBS NEWSHOUR: Let me ask you about some of your agenda. In Nevada, a powerful culinary workers union, they announced today they are not going to endorse a candidate. It wasn't so many days ago that they put out a flyer saying that they oppose the kind of single-payer health plan that you have endorsed. How do you respond to their position on this? SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Look, they are a great union. And I know their leadership, and we work and will work very closely with them. Some of their - they're part Unite Here, the broader union, and some of the locals in Unite Here are strongly supporting us, who have the same health care plan as the culinary workers. And those unions believe in Medicare for all. Many unions do believe in Medicare for all. WOODRUFF: They're saying your plan would take away the health care that their members have. SANDERS: Well, I don't quite agree. I think our plan for them and for every person in America would expand the health care that we have. We are going to expand Medicare to include home health care, dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses. We're going to do away with premiums and co-payments and deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. We're going to take on the greed and corruption of the pharmaceutical industry and make sure that nobody in America has to spend more than $200 a year for prescription drugs. Look, Judy, at the end of the day, we are spending twice as much per capita as do the people of any other major nation. And yet, despite that huge expenditure, 87 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured, 30,000 die, 500,000 go bankrupt. That doesn't make sense. WOODRUFF: But they are opposing your position. Some of your supporters in Nevada attacked the union after this… (CROSSTALK) SANDERS: Well, you know, it's a funny thing. Obviously, that is not acceptable to me. And I don't know who these so-called supporters are. You know, we are living in a strange world on the Internet. And, sometimes, people attack people in somebody else's name. But let me be very clear. Anybody making personal attacks against anybody else in my name is not part of our movement. We don't want them. And I'm not so sure, to be honest with you, that they are necessarily part of our movement. You understand, you know, the nature of the Internet. It's a strange world out there.
Former Vice President and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden rips Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) for not disavowing online supporters. "I know you've seen what's been online," Biden said Monday on MSNBC. "The vicious, vicious threats and things they've said, the misogynistic things they've said, referring to the women who are leaders of the Culinary Union and the things that they've said about them. And, actually, they've received death threats. I mean, this is way, way -- this is Trump-like -- way over the line. And I think Bernie has to be -- he has to disavow this. He has to say, 'I disassociate, I don't want any of those people being with me.' Can you imagine if my supporters did that what should be expected of me? I'm not saying Bernie won't do it, he hasn't done it yet." When asked if Sanders is "Trump-like" himself, Biden said the candidate should speak up and take on "It is ugly. I can't even use the words they used -- go on, check on, you know, the websites out there," Biden said.
Rep. Steph Murphy (D-FL) on endorsing Michael Bloomberg, his 2020 candidacy and the increased scrutiny on his record.
Bernie Sanders responds: February 17, 2020
Longtime ABC News journalist Sam Donaldson endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg in a Twitter video where he bashed President Donald Trump as ignorant of the world.
Never thought I'd see this. https://t.co/MlnARdwCbC- Brit Hume (@brithume) February 15, 2020
Marc Short, Chief of Staff to Vice President Mike Pence, appeared on CNN's "State of the Union" to talk about President Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr investigating the bias in the Department of Justice and trying to correct it. DANA BASH, CNN: The latest critic of President Trump's Twitter feed is his own attorney general, Bill Barr, who said this week that the president's tweets about current Justice Department cases make it impossible for Barr to do his job. Clearly undeterred, though, President Trump is still tweeting about current cases. And some new moves by the Justice Department are raising questions about political interference. Joining me now is the chief of staff for the vice president and President Trump's former legislative affairs director, Marc Short. Thank you so much for coming in this morning. MARC SHORT, CHIEF OF STAFF TO VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Thanks for having me on, Dana. BASH: So, let's start with what the attorney general said this week. Let's take a listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WILLIAM BARR, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: To have public statements and tweets made about the department, about our people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending in the department, and about judges before whom we have cases make it impossible for me to do my job. (END VIDEO CLIP) BASH: Why did the attorney general feel the need to do this? SHORT: I don't know, Dana. I don't think that it's impossible to do his job. In fact, I think that Attorney General Barr is doing a great job. I think he has a lot of confidence inside the White House. I think that the president's frustration is one that a lot of Americans have which feels like the scales of justice are not balanced anymore. That for someone like Roger Stone gets a prosecution that suggests a nine-year jail sentence which is four years above the sentencing guidelines and candidly someone like Andy McCabe who also lied to federal investigators gets a lucrative contract here at CNN people say, how is this fair and how is it equitable? I think that's the president's frustration. BASH: You don't think that it is unusual for the attorney general to come out in any administration but particularly in this administration to basically say to the president back off? SHORT: Oh, well, I'm not going to tell you it's not unusual, but I think that he does enjoy the support of the president, and I think that -- that, again, the concern that we have is a sense that the scales of justice are not the same. Again, what we have been seeing again and again is that the Department of Justice has been politicized and the Attorney General Barr is trying to correct that. Normally what happen in a case like Roger Stone is that somebody has asked for a sentence that is four years above the sentencing guidelines. It goes up the chain to say, here is why I'm suggesting that. Once that happen Barr took it back and said, no, that's going -- that's going to be excessive. But I think there's concern about a lot of people who knew that the Mueller probe was a fraudulent probe. BASH: Which is understandable. There's understandable concern on any level in any case. But it's a totally different thing when it is the president of the United States involving himself in criminal cases particularly involving people who are close to him. And since that interview, basically not me speaking, that's obviously what the attorney general was getting at, the president continued to tweet. He tweeted about the Justice Department's decision not the prosecute Andy McCabe and asserted his right to intervene in criminal cases. So why isn't the president listening to his attorney general? SHORT: The president has been able to communicate directly with American people through a social media outlet. It is something help (INAUDIBLE) the presidency. It's one of the things the American people love about him is they can communicate directly with him. He's going to keep doing it. It's what he has done from the beginning and I think it's a very effective way for him to communicate with the American people. When we talk about weighing in I've read even today in "The Washington Post," an editorial talking about Bill Barr being the president's wingman. Those were the exact words that Eric Holder used when he said, I am Obama's wingman. And media never criticized that. Yet today it's never been accusation that Barr says, I'm his wingman, but the media is criticizing (INAUDIBLE). BASH: I think what the -- first of all, it's not the media it's Barr now. Barr is the one who's criticizing the president for his tweets not us. SHORT: No. What the media is criticizing is they're alleging that Barr is the president's wingman doing basically politicizing the DOJ when in fact Eric Holder said, I am Obama's wingman, and the media was silent at that time, Dana. The reality is that Barr is being independent. He did come into this decision on his own. It was not something that was influenced by the president. BASH: But what I hear you saying is that it's OK because the president uses social media in an effective way, but it's OK to take that to a level that he is -- he is a disrupter. He is a precedent breaker, but this takes it to a level where the Justice Department has historically lived up to its name, you know that. It's an advocate for independent justice. It's seen that way around the world. SHORT: What's been happening inside of the Justice Department has been unprecedented. When you basically knew the Russian collusion was a hoax and you continued to pursue it, you continued to try to entrap people, that is something that the American people have not seen before and there's a danger to. So for the president to speak up and say, it's unfair to prosecute and suggest four years extra years in prison for Roger Stone you're basically letting the number two person in DOJ go free and again have a lucrative contract here at CNN doesn't really seem for most people to be equitable system, Dana. BASH: But most people is one thing. Again, for the president of the United States to inject himself in something like this is -- I mean, justice is supposed to be blind, right? I mean, it is not even close, the perception is that it is not even close when you have the president intervening. SHORT: That's the point. The president is speaking out, because it hasn't been blind. BASH: Barr ordered the Justice Department to re-examine the case of the former National Security adviser Michael Flynn who pleaded guilty to lying to investigators. President Trump said, Flynn's situation is very unfair. He previously wished him best wishes and good luck. Why is the attorney general inserting himself in cases involving the president's associates? SHORT: Because, again, there has been a bias inside the Department of Justice that Attorney General Barr is trying to correct. I think that he said that the president has not called him directly to say please do these things. He has acted independently to initiate these reviews. And I think he's doing a terrific job with it. BASH: OK. You're saying that there is a bias. I understand why you are saying that, but there isn't -- there isn't -- there isn't proof of that given the fact that you had Robert Mueller appointed, appointed by somebody who was a Trump nominee, and you had very long, very intense investigations by people who, I know you guys said it was a witch hunt and it was -- and it was -- and it was corrupt and all of those things, but at the end of the day, you had genuine investigations going on by people who are career nonpartisan prosecutors. SHORT: Well, they are supposed to be nonpartisan. That's the basis of our complaint, Dana. The reality is that there are people inside the Department of Justice who very clearly were stating their intent to stop Donald Trump from becoming president of the United States. That is a serious problem and that is what the president has spoken out about. And as you say that proof, I think it's pretty clear now in the aftermath of the Mueller report that they knew there was no Russian collusion, that they continued the investigation to see who else they can snare, who else they can entrap and -- (CROSSTALK) BASH: I don't know -- all right. I don't know if that is true that they knew that there was no corruption. SHORT: I think -- (CROSSTALK) BASH: That's not -- that's not -- that's not -- that's not fair. There are a lot of things that we can and we'll fact check. But I want to move on to another topic.
CHUCK TODD, NBC 'MEET THE PRESS' HOST: Back now with End Game. And it's been quite an active week here in Washington away from the campaign, hasn't it? We've seen Attorney General Bill Barr's Justice Department intervene in both the Roger Stone and Mike Flynn cases. We've also seen four Stone prosecutors quit the case as a result. And then we heard Barr rebuking-- and we're going to put that in quotes for now -- President Trump and his tweets. Rebuked him again in an ABC News interview. I want to play a couple of things before we get started with this conversation. First, I want to play Barr about what the tweets have done to him. Take a listen. ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR: Once the tweet occurred, the question is, "Well, now what do I do?" And do you go forward with what you think is the right decision? Or do you pull back because of the tweet? And that just sort of illustrates how disruptive these tweets can be. CHUCK TODD: Of course, everybody's been trying to figure out -- who is Barr talking to? Is he rebuking the president? Here's what Laura Ingraham on, on Fox News, here's what she said after the interview. LAURA INGRAHAM: The media sees this sexy story of Trump versus Barr, but they missed the fact that Barr was basically telling Trump, "Don't worry. I got this." CHUCK TODD: Peter Alexander, did Laura Ingraham just say the quiet part out loud? PETER ALEXANDER, NBC NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: I mean, I think a lot of people believe that's the case, right? That effectively what Barr was saying is, "Hey, boss. This is unnecessary and unhelpful. Look at the actions we've taken to this point so far." The president -- this is not a president who's in it for justice. He's a president who's in it for an eye for an eye. Think about what's happened in the last, what, eight to ten days since he was impeached. I asked him for lessons learned. There was no self-reflection. He said that the Democrats are crooked. In the days since then, he's fired Gordon Sondland and Vindman. He also moved on attacking the Stone decision, you know, and, and got what he wanted out of it. And McCabe, I'm told, is what made him angrier than anything right now. But this is a president that is emboldened. And the best example of that is the fact that today he goes to the Daytona 500, and I'm told that there are discussions, he is planning to literally take a victory lap where he will -- you know, the cars all lean left, the folks in the crowd lean right. This is going to be a massive Trump rally. And this is a guy who feels big, not just like a survivor, but feels stronger right now.
President Donald Trump ushered in the start of the Daytona 500 on Sunday with a lap of the storied track in his armored presidential limo, nicknamed "the Beast." Trump kicks off Daytona 500 with Grand Marshal speech, gives remarks from Victory Lane at Daytona 500:
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar told CNN's Dana Bash Sunday that she is the only one on the debate stage that says she has a problem with a democratic socialist or a billionaire winning the nomination. "I think he has to come on a show like yours," Klobuchar said about reports that Michael Bloomberg has made comments objectifying women. "He has not come on any Sunday show since he announced." "I don't think you should be able to hide behind airwaves and huge ad buys," Klobuchar said. "He has to come on these shows, and I'm also an advocate for him coming on the debate stage." "I know I'm not going to beat him on the air but I can beat him on the debate stage because I believe my argument for my candidacy is so much stronger," she added.